||Cornelius Smith Jr
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
Cornelius Smith, Jr. was born in California (his father, who spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, was stationed there) and reared in Detroit, MI. He is the oldest of three (brother Curtis is one year younger; sister Patricia is 10 years his junior) and fell in love with acting in high school. His passion led him to get a theater degree at Southern Methodist University and an MFA at New York University.
After he graduated, Smith was cast in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo & Juliet (he understudied Romeo, and was supposed to go on for the final performance when the actor playing Romeo got injured, but in the end, fight scenes were rechoreographed to accommodate the hurt star). He was waiting tables at New York's legendary Cafe Wha? when he joined AMC in the recurring role of Quentin, a mystery man who lived in the woods and factored into the "Zach and Greenlee fall into a bomb shelter" storyline.
But early in 2008, AMC lured Debbi Morgan (Angie) and Darnell Williams back to Pine Valley, Quentin was revealed to be Angie and Jesse's son, Frank, and Smith was signed to a contract. It was his mom, a longtime AMC fan, who alerted him to the historical significance of the Angie/Jesse romance. "I feel blessed to be a part of it," he says.